The best non-toxic cleaning products for your home

So far, we have sorted you out with the best toxin-free products to put IN and ON your body, so it's only fitting that we share our favourite products to use AROUND your body. Here are our must-have cleaning brands, products and ingredients we use around our households that are free of all the hidden nasty stuff that can play havoc with your health.

Our #1 tip for successfully changing to a toxin-free home is to do it gradually. Next time you finish one of your current cleaning products, replace it with a healthier, safer alternative. Before you know it, your home and family will be chemical and toxin-free, without feeling a financial sting. 

These brands cover ALL your kitchen, laundry, floor, wall, glass and bathroom needs.

  • ecostore is a proudly owned New Zealand brand that has your health and the environment as their top priorities. They have all your cleaning needs sorted, from fabric softeners to dishwashing tablets and everything in between. 
  • abode natural cleaning products have a huge range to address all your household needs. They even offer products in bulk 5L and 5kg quantities which are really cost effective! We love their ginger and lemongrass range. 
  • Ecover can help you get your dishes clean, bathroom shining and clothes nice and fresh. They even have products to help deal with the big problems of cleaning; limescale and dirty ovens.
  • Speaking of tough problems, Cinderella also does a super effective, natural oven and BBQ cleaner.
  • We love Resparkle products because they are certified organic (big tick of approval). They even have a range for bubs and little ones and offer a Healthy Baby Home Care Pack. 
Non-Toxic cleaning products

Say goodbye to air fresheners aka chemical nightmares!

  • Try diffusing organic essential oils in an aroma diffuser by Lively Living. With an aroma diffuser, no candles are needed for your home to be filled with the scent of your choice! To add to your diffuser, we love the single or delicious blends from Sacred SelfPerfect Potion or Mt Retour
  • Thursday Plantation has lavender, tea tree and eucalyptus in a spray. Great for scenting the air and disinfecting all types of surfaces. 
  • Chemical free room spray's and soy candles from Vanessa Megan are delightful. We love the fresh, uplifting combination of mint and citrus. Yum!
  • Love the feel and ambience of a burning candle? Northern Light make beautiful beeswax candles, as does Australian Certified Organic Happy Flame

Cleaning utensils and products.

  • Microfibre products by ENJO allow you to clean your home just by adding water. The structure of the fibres allows dirt and grime to lift right off. Their Floorcleaner is their number one best seller, for good reason.
  • Full Circle offers the best cleaning utensils including wipes, scrubbing brushes and reusable bottles (for your DIY cleaning products).

Common DIY cleaning product recipe ingredients.

  • Look no further than Dr. Bronner's liquid castile soap in scented and unscented varieties. 
  • Essential oils are mentioned a lot in DIY recipes, especially eucalyptus, lemon, tea tree and lavender. When you visit Sacred SelfPerfect Potion or Mt Retour to get your wonderful scents for your diffuser, you can also pick up your cleaning oils. 
  • Bicarbonate of soda or baking soda by Bob's Red Mill is our favourite because it is aluminium free. This is also our preferred bi-carb soda for any baking needs.
  • Soap berries/nuts are nature's cleaning product, not only are they chemical free, but they are 100% biodegradable!
  • Vinegar is also a common DIY ingredient. Organic white vinegar is preferred, but some recipes ask for apple cider vinegar, for which we love Bragg.

Where you can buy these products.

We love sharing tips, suggestions and products that can help you live a healthier, happier and cleaner life. Enjoy these amazing products and let us know your favourites!

The hidden toxins you clean your house with

Part three 'around'

You may not have realised that by ridding your home of unwanted dirt and mess, you could actually be filling it with another kind of mess – nasty chemicals and toxins. These nasties are hidden in your cleaning products, and when you start listing all the products you use in the laundry, kitchen and bathroom, the number adds up! Did you know that the ingredients in these products could be affecting your health? Think about it, our skin absorbs everything it comes into contacts with(1) and our lungs breath in anything that's in the air, including chemical fumes(2). To know exactly what they are doing to your health, we are tackling some of the common toxins used around your home. A quick hello needs to be made to the repeat offenders; fragrancesphthalates, triclosanformaldehyde and heavy metals, which are used AROUND our homes, as well as products we use IN and ON our bodies.

1. Perchloroethylene (PCE)

PCE is used in dry cleaning, textile processing, metal-cleaning(3). It is considered to be a cancer causing agent(3,4) and can irritate your skin, eyes and upper respiratory tract. Swallowing PCE isn't a good idea as it will cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea(5), not to mention it's toxic to many of our vital organs. Our nervous system is the most affected if exposed to PCE for long periods; even at low doses, as it can negatively impact our vision, memory, cognition and reaction time(3,6)

2. Quaternary Ammonium Compounds (QACs)

QACs are used in dishwashing liquids, hand soaps, window cleaners, “all-purpose” cleaners, floor products, baby-care products, disinfectant sprays and wipes and air fresheners(7). QACs can cause irritant and/or allergic contact dermatitis and can be bigger problem if you have open wounds, infections or eczema(8). Your skin can become dry, red, chapped and scaled or at worse it can swell, blister and chemically burn(9). Breathing in QACs is a problem as they are often used with fragrances and can cause asthma or trigger symptoms of existing asthma(8,10,11). Don't get this stuff in your eyes either as it can cause serious damage to your cornea(12,13).

3. 2-Butoxyethanol

2-Butoxyethanol is used in paints, paint thinners, glass-cleaning, surface-cleaning products, household cleaners, metal cleaners, spray lacquers, quick-dry lacquers, enamels, varnishes and varnish removers(14). Animal studies have shown that breathing in 2-Butoxyethanol increase some types of cancers(15). In humans it can cause difficulty breathing, runny nose, coughing, painful and tearing eyes and red, irritated dermatitis. It so toxic that our red blood cells can become fragile(16) and you can poisoned just through breathing it in(14)

4. Ammonia

Ammonia can be found in cleaning products for your car, windows, drains, toilet, bathroom, oven and stainless steel products(15,16). Just by cleaning your home with these products and using oven cleaning sprays you increase your risk for asthma(17). Ammonia's main toxic effects occur at the site of direct contact and effects depend on how much you are exposed to. For example, if you spill a product containing ammonia, the fumes may cause your eyes to water, but if you spill a bottle of concentrated ammonia your eyes could have serious vision loss(16). Mixing chlorine bleach with ammonia also creates a toxic gas that can cause short term or permanent breathing problems(18).

5. Chlorine bleach

Chlorine bleach (sodium hypochlorite) is the most commonly used disinfecting and cleaning agent in the developed world(19) and is used in scouring powders, toilet cleaners, mould removers and laundry whiteners(20). Being around chlorine gas can cause your throat to burn, lungs, eye and nose irritation, asthma(21), chest tightness and coughing. It's not very nice for your skin either as direct contact can cause burning pain, inflammation and blisters (22).

6. Sodium Hydroxide aka Lye and Caustic Soda

Sodium hydroxide is found in aquarium products, drain cleaners, hair straighteners, metal polishes and oven cleaners(23). Sodium hydroxide is strongly irritating and corrosive and can cause severe burns and permanent damage to any tissue that it comes in contact with. Your eyes may burn and develop cataracts, glaucoma and blindness. If breathed in, it can result in asthma, a swollen voice box or persistent hoarseness(24). So really, its effects ain't pretty.

Home safer tips

Tips to make your home safer

Thankfully, we have some solid take home messages and safer alternatives to make cleaning your home a safer experience

1. Read the label. Just because a product says it's 'green' or 'environmentally friendly' doesn't necessarily mean it's safe for your health. Additionally, just because it includes lemon or bi-carbonate of soda as ingredients, they probably aren't the only ingredients in the product and may be added to chlorine bleach.

2. DIY cleaning recipes can be safer (and cheaper). Finding recipes that use ingredients like bi-carbonate of soda, lemon, salt, vinegar and essential oils are highly effective and safer for your family.

3. Use micro-fibre clothes and mops so you can clean with water and forget the chemicals.

4. Protect yourself by using gloves, face masks, eye masks to inhibit contact with any nasties.

5. Ventilation! If you have to or choose to continue using chemical cleaners make sure there is adequate airflow when you clean.

If you are wondering what brands are safe to buy, next week we will be sharing our absolute favourites we use to clean the bathroom, kitchen and laundry.